Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I have thoughts. You know, sometimes I think about things. There is this thing I have been thinking about for a long time. Like years. And I want someone to let me know if I have a valid thought, or if I am just nuts. I could very well be nuts.

So let's say you have a big food blog. You have lots of readers and you also have ads and you make money doing this blogging thing. What kind of recipes are you posting? Not your own? Sure, you are crediting the source, but you are making money off of their hard work and creative idea. You are merely making a recipe, taking a picture, talking about it's deliciousness and then posting the recipe. Is posting someone else's recipe and making money off of it plagiarism? Do I just have an incorrect understanding of the word "plagiarism"?

Another thought- let's say you credit the source, but make a few typos on accident or a few adaptions. What if the way you write it makes the outcome of the recipe crappy? Who does the blame go to? The person who wrote the recipe in the first place?

Am I nuts or do I have some valid thoughts?


  1. Plagiarism is a tricky thing.
    If someone copies your recipe exactly and credits themselves... PLAGIARISM.
    If they are inspired by your recipe and adapt it, it's not technically plagiarism.
    If they modify your recipe and say it's yours, it's lying, misrepresenting, possibly slander if they food turns out gross. It could damage your reputation.
    Food recipes are like music. Musicians/artists (what's the difference between the two?) are often inspired by other music. Weird Al clearly "copies" other musicians music but, uses his own words.

    It sucks that people use YOUR ideas without giving you credit. I guess that's the price you pay for being great at something... everyone tries to copy you (which is the sincerest form of flattery)

    Can't wait for your cookbook!!!! You're going to need a good lawyer to sue all those copycats!

  2. Awkward... I stopped blogging on my food blog for just this reason. Most of the recipes on there were other peoples. (i did give credit where it was due) As much as I love cooking/baking, I just can't create a recipe. I wanted a spot where I could store all the yummy recipes that I found. Now I just print them off and keep them in a binder. I too am excited for your cookbook. That will save me ink and paper. :)

  3. You know how I feel about this. We could talk for hours. My experience with the blog rapists taught me a thing or two about intellectual property. Did you know their was such a thing? I didn't until recently. But, there is. You have intellectual property and even if you share willingly and openly, someone can't take it and "redistribute" it as their own. They can't even elude to the idea that it's "theirs". And, it doesn't have to be copied word for word to be plagiarism.

  4. Here's my philosophy on this... and it's purely from a "consumer" view. I choose a recipe blog or book or web site based on the author's taste in food. I don't really care if the recipe is original or if it was borrowed or whatever. If I use a blog or book or web site, and find that a bunch of the recipes are awesome, then I will frequent that web site because I trust their taste in food. So, in my opinion, you are buying the author's complete concept – not just an individual recipe.

    That being said, I would never publish a recipe on my own blog without giving proper credit. In fact, I believe that if a recipe is on a blog somewhere, you should point your readers to the actually recipe on that person's web site as opposed to republishing it on your own. I think I've done that with yours a few times, except for on April Fools Day when I hashed your recipe for lemon something-er-others.

    Also, in regards to your recipes used for the book, I would never hand it out without your permission.

  5. I think I know who you're talking about and she ripped me off once big time.

  6. I don't think it's plagarism if you site the source. I get what you're saying, about the whole making money off someone's idea thing, but I don't think it works that way. If I know you and I share similar tastes, when you post a good recipe you found from, oh let's say Martha Stewart, I'll probably make it too. Sure, I could have found it myself on Martha's blog, but I don't KNOW her. I don't KNOW that I'm already gonna like everything she posts. If you say "This is Martha's recipe and it's really good," and if you go even further by adding "I used red cabbage because I couldn't find kohlrabi at my grocery store", even though you've adapted things a bit, I think your bases are covered.

  7. I don't think your nuts at all! I only post family recipes or recipes from my head. Actually no I might be lying I think that I have posted a link to to other's recipes...but never posted them as my full post. Either way I do agree with you!!
    -vanessa inevergrewup.net

  8. You owe me one chest bump. I'll be in Utah end of July.